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College Hockey Polls, Preseason: Denver Pioneers, Colorado College Open In Top 10

The college hockey preseason polls are out and the Denver Pioneers and the Colorado College Tigers are top 10 teams entering the 2011-12 season.

The college hockey season is about to get underway.
The college hockey season is about to get underway.

The 2011 preseason college hockey polls are out and Colorado is well represented in them. The Denver Pioneers and the Colorado College Tigers are both top 10 teams in the two major polls. They come in at No. 4 and No. 7, respectively, in USCHO's Top 20 and USA Hockey's Top 15.

Both teams won at-large bids to the 2011 NCAA Hockey Tournament and made it to the regional finals before their elimination time came. The Pioneers needed two overtime periods to beat Western Michigan before they lost to North Dakota, 6-1. The Tigers, the No. 4 seed in their regional, upset No. 1 seed (and the national No. 3) Boston College in the opening round, but then lost to Frozen Four runner-up Michigan, 2-1.

Defending Frozen Four champion Minnesota-Duluth can be found at Nos. 8 and 10 in the polls. They received first-place votes in both polls, though. Notre Dame and Miami each are No. 1 in a poll, while North Dakota is at No. 3 in both.

Air Force, which ultimately lost in overtime to the tournament's No.1 overall seed, Yale, received 74 votes in the USCHO poll and five votes in USA Hockey's poll.

The Pioneers drop the puck on the regular season on Oct. 14 against Boston College. The Tigers open against Bemdiji State that same night. The Falcons open a week earlier on Oct. 7 against North Dakota.

Here are the preseason polls:

Rank USCHO USA Hockey
1 Notre Dame (11) Miami (15)
2 Miami (12) Notre Dame (4)
3 North Dakota (5) North Dakota (3)
4 Denver Denver
5 Boston College (2) Boston College (1)
6 Michigan Boston University (3)
7 Colorado College Colorado College
8 Minnesota-Duluth (10) Yale
9 Yale (1) Michigan
10 Boston University (2) Minnesota-Duluth (6)
11 Union Union College
12 New Hampshire New Hampshire
13 Western Michigan Western Michigan
14 Nebraska-Omaha Nebraska-Omaha
15 Merrimack Maine
16 Maine
17 Wisconsin
18 Rensselaer
19 Minnesota
20 Cornell